Zombies, Nuclear Winters, and Sharknadoes: Why the Biblical Apocalypse Is Different from Hollywood's

By Paul Miles

There are a lot of cool post-apocalyptic shows on television right now. The Walking Dead tells the tale of survivors in a world overrun by Zombies. The 100 follows a bunch of delinquents that come to earth after a nuclear fallout a century earlier. Sharknado... well, to be honest I haven't really figured out what that one's all about yet.

All of these are part of the post-apocalyptic genre. Life is going as usual, then something big and terrible happens, then survivors have to make their way in what's left of the planet. It's entertaining, because we get to watch the characters develop in stressful situations and fantasize about what we would do in a similar situation. Things can actually change quickly. Most of our American readers remember September 11th 2001, and a few might even remember December 7, 1941. All of our Ukrainian readers are sure to remember Euromaidan, and many probably remember the fall of the USSR.

This word, apocalypse, actually comes from the Bible. It is the first word in the Book of Revelation. "The revelation [Greek apokalupsis] of Jesus Christ..." (Rev 1:1). We translate it "revelation" because it consists of two parts: apo and kalupsis. Kaluptō is a verb meaning "to cover," and the apo- prefix makes it "uncover" or "reveal," then the -sis ending makes it a noun to mean "an uncovering" or "a revelation." By the way, we need to remember that God's intention with the Book of Revelation (as well as with the rest of the Bible) is to reveal rather than conceal. Don't seek for hidden meanings in the Word of God, but take it to mean what it says.

The Bible teaches that there will be some disasters in the future that are worse than anything that any of us have ever seen. Some people have looked at some of the hard times in time gone by, or even at some of the tough things happening in the world today and have tried to identify them with the judgments that Revelation foretells. The problem is that there are always key differences between the events that have happened and the events that the Bible says will happen. But here's the good news: no matter how the Biblical apocalypse ends up shaking out, the post-apocalypse is going to be awesome!

Really, the reason things aren't already awesome is that we have three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. But, in the Biblical post-apocalypse, none of these will be a problem. There will be a new heaven and a new earth, with Christ ruling the world. No more corrupt government and sinful environment. The sinful flesh that we all inhabit now will be done away with and we will live in glorified bodies without a sinful nature. Satan will have been thrown into the Lake of Fire and won't be able to cause trouble on the new earth. The world will be flawless. The flesh will be glorified. The devil will be gone.

No fallout shelters. No natural disasters. No brain-munching zombies. In the post-apocalypse, everything will be perfect.